31 August 2012

Global City Indicators Facility


By Renard Teipelke
Original and credits

“The Global City Indicators Facility provides an established set of city indicators with a globally standardized methodology that allows for global comparability of city performance and knowledge sharing.”
This web-based relational database website, Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF), is based at the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design of the University of Toronto in Canada and has on its executive committees both officials (partly elected politicians) from cities of various size and region and representatives from international organizations such as UN-Habitat or ICLEI.
The indicator themes are organized in two main categories:
  • City services: education, finance, recreation, governance, energy, transportation, wastewater, fire and emergency response, health, safety, solid waste, urban planning, water.
  • Quality of life: civic engagement, economy, shelter, culture, environment, social equity, technology and innovation
Under these themes a total of 115 indicators are listed, differentiated into basic provision indicatorssupporting indicators, and profileindicators. The GCIF describes the development of its indicators as a “rigorous screening process”, demands a regular reporting by participating member cities, and underscores a specific set of criteria for the indicators. Amongst these criteria are important aspects such as the cost effectiveness of collecting the necessary data and a limited complexity of the indicators. It might sound as a weakness of the indicators, but city practitioners may well support the fact that it can pose particular barriers to local governments and administrations to work with data sets and lists of performance criteria if they are hard to understand or difficult to assess. This becomes especially relevant in cities in developing countries where local administrations are rather poorly equipped, but also in cities of industrialized nations in the current economic and financial crisis where budgets are recklessly cut back.
In contrast to the indicator development by international organizations or research institutions that may not seek the input of the parties concerned, the GCIF discusses current indicators and prospective ones with member cities in order to address their needs (concerning the performance comparability) and interests (concerning the knowledge sharing).
Global City Indicators Facility Member Cities

28 August 2012

Portugal has plenty of points of interest where you can still view the country of Vasco da Gama



THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY  WHO HAS WRITTEN 110 POSTS ON TIPS FROM THE T-LIST.
Once one of Europe’s greatest superpowers, Portugal has plenty of points of interest where you can still view the country of Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. Whatever kind of vacation you’re taking in Portugal, there’s plenty of places to visit that will take your breath away as much as the Mediterranean heat. This list has been compiled by yourgolftravel, and includes some of the best things to do near their resorts when you’re taking some time off from the course.
Belem Tower in Lisbon Photo: Alexander Savin on Flickr
Belem Tower in Lisbon

Belem is near the capital of Lisbon, and is where Magellan and da Gama once loaded their ships in preparation for their voyages to the New World. Belem’s selection of cultural venues and striking monuments makes for one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the Med, so it’s no wonder than Belem is one of the most visited areas in Europe.
Ponta de Piedade, Lagos,Portugal Photo: Girolame on Flickr
Ponta de Piedade, Lagos,Portugal

One of the most popular stop offs for those on Algarve golf tours, Lagos itself is one of the oldest towns in Portugal, with fortifications dating back to the 8th century. Though blessed with bustling nightlife and brand new marina area, nothing in Lagos will prepare you for the sublime south of the city, with the beautiful Ponta da Piedade lapped by turquoise waters and decorated with fabulous rock formations; Ponta da Piedade is one of the most naturally beautiful places in Europe.
Porto in Portugal Photo: Harsil.Shah on Flickr
Porto in Portugal

One of Portugal’s “big four” cities; boasting one of the world’s most successful football clubs; Porto is the place to go for those looking for something a little more urban. That’s not to say the people of Porto have abandoned their traditions either, with the modern developments blending seamlessly with the historic centre. The pace in Porto is dictated by the world class wine industry, so you have the perfect excuse to sample absolutely everything the city has to offer; from strolling up the numerous roads leading to the majestic cathedral; to marvelling at the Stock Exchange with its neoclassical architecture; to enjoying the city’s most famous product in one of its many cosy restaurants.

27 August 2012

1000 flowers on Twitter



Destination Branding is Difficult and Calls for a Different Approach (Part One)


Destination Branding is Difficult and Calls for a Different Approach (Part One)

original / source

DSCF0260really agree with the comments by Jonathan Bernstein, executive director for brand strategy forInterbrand Singapore in the Cebu Sun Star, who said “Out of all the brands that need to be developed, destination branding is the most challenging.” He added, “Many people confuse a brand for a logo, a tagline or an advertising campaign. With products, companies only need to show the economic value for the consumer. But with places are much more complex.”
He explained so many things influence a destination, such as heritage, history, food and the people while there are many things beyond the control of the destination’s brand developers.
For Bernstein, a brand is a reputation. “Everything you do will build or take away from your reputation.” Bernstein said a brand helps to hold everything together and will serve as a guide for the long-term, medium-term and short-term direction a place wants to take.
I have advocated in my book, Destination Branding for Small Cities – Second Editionthat place branding is about establishing a framework for prioritization and should contribute directly to increased effectiveness and efficiency in how cities and downtowns compete and present themselves. It enables places to focus on their differentiating strengths and leverage the combined power of stakeholder resources to establish their competitive identity. However, it is not easy getting to this point. Despite the many successes there are some failures that could have been avoided had participants recognized that branding places is very different to branding consumer products.
The path to revealing a place brand usually involves a multitude of stakeholders and departs from that generally followed for branding corporate products and services.  One reason for the variation is the composite nature of places which are a compilation of many independent and competing businesses, products, and experiences that are owned and managed by many different organizations with no single management team or custodian.
Part Two will be posted Wednesday.

Portugal promotes local wines with free wine tasting in Lisbon



Posted by:  on Jul 18, 2012 | No Comments
Gastrodiplomacy and oenology come together in Lisbon’s famous Plaça do Comércio during free wine tastings throughout the week.
I had the pleasure of spending four days in sunny Lisbon last week, as a tourist. Imagine my surprise (and delight!) to find out that there was a free wine tasting going on every hour, on the hour right in central Lisbon.
The Wines of Portugal center is a non-profit venue that is sponsored by Portuguese vintners. Guests can taste four different wines (two whites and two reds) from different regions around Portugal. The center works hand in hand with Viniportugal, a trade association that promotes Portugues wines, brandies and vinegar in domestic and international markets.
In exchange for the free wine tasting, the center asks guests to fill out a survey to find out which nationalities are present as well as which wines were most appreciated. The only downfall was that the wines were not available for purchase in the center, but shop recommendations were abundant. Have a look at the event in this gallery:

25 August 2012

How Europe's New Gold Standard Undermines Democracy


How Europe's New Gold Standard Undermines Democracy

While the whole world has been adopting a pragmatic consensus on economic policy since the Great Recession, Europe — and Germany in particular — is stubbornly sticking to a policy that has all the downsides of the old classical gold standard.
From the US to Russia and Japan, and from Brazil to India and China, the rest of the world has been careful to preserve substantial flexibility with its domestic fiscal and monetary policy levers. No such caution in continental Europe, where a "one size fits none" monetary policy by an independent central bank that cannot act as a true lender of last resort and a Brussels-imposed fiscal straightjacket that has not served a single euro member state well reign the day. Add to that the problem of intra-European financial markets with "national" regulatory institutions and the lack of a Europe-wide deposit insurance scheme or common debt instrument, and one can start to understand why the euro zone is going through an existential crisis with still no real end in sight.
original source and credits

MATTHIAS MATTHIJS

Matthias Matthijs is Assistant Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

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BBC News - Brand GB – a good games

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24 August 2012

Turismo quer chegar aos 2 milhões de dormidas de estrangeiros



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Foto: Nataniel Diogo
A Associação de Turismo do Porto e Norte de Portugal (ATP), que apresentou esta quinta-feira o novo portal de turismo regional, quer atingir este ano os 2 milhões de dormidas de visitantes estrangeiros na região.
Segundo a directora executiva da entidade, Helena Gonçalves, tal implicará um aumento de 115 mil dormidas face a 2011, mas a região está “no bom caminho” com a subida de 4,8% (706.430, contra 674.265 em 2011) registado nos primeiros 5 meses do ano, considerados um “período crítico”.
“De Junho a Dezembro estão previstas mais 250 a 300 mil dormidas, pelo que estamos no bom caminho para atingir os 2 milhões”, sustentou.
Apostada em assegurar o crescimento sustentado do turismo na região, a ATP – agência regional de promoção turística do Porto e Norte responsável pela promoção externa da região – propõe-se alcançar em 2015 o total de 2,6 milhões de dormidas de turistas estrangeiros em lazer e negócios.
“Este é um sector onde a tentação para o individualismo é grande, mas o sucesso só é possível com uma estratégia integrada e com alinhamento com o Turismo de Portugal e com a marca Portugal”, sustentou o actual presidente da ATP e vice-presidente da Câmara do Porto, Vladimiro Feliz, durante a apresentação do novo portal de turismo regional.
A directora executiva da ATP destacou a Espanha (actualmente o principal emissor de turistas para a região), o Reino Unido, a Alemanha e a França como os “mercados prioritários” na estratégia para 2012.
A estes somam-se os países do Benelux, a Itália, a Suíça, a Escandinávia e o Brasil (que merecerá particular destaque) como “mercados estratégicos”, para além dos EUA, Canadá e Rússia como “mercados emergentes”.
Depois da Espanha – que, “apesar do decréscimo” registado, ainda lidera o top 10 dos países emissores de turistas para o Porto e Norte – surgem a França, Brasil, Alemanha, Reino Unido, Itália, Holanda, Bélgica, EUA e Escandinávia como principais mercados.
Novo portal
Operacional desde Julho, o portal visitportoandnorth.travel é um dos pilares do plano de comunicação da ATP e, conforme explicou o assessor de marketing João Pedro Capelo, “trabalha muito a notoriedade e o marketing digital” da região.
“A reputação e a notoriedade online são muito importantes para nós”, afirmou, adiantando que a plataforma está disponível em 6 idiomas e faz “uma abordagem mais profunda do destino”, distinguindo-se assim de outros sites.
Segundo salientou, um dos objectivos da ATP é “combater a sazonalidade” do destino Porto e Norte, promovendo as características distintivas da região e os seus principais produtos turísticos: turismo de negócios, city breaktouring e turismo de natureza.
“Esta plataforma reforçará e catalisará inequivocamente as actividades online, centralizando a comunicação da região e produto turístico num espaço de partilha de conteúdos, imagens e vídeos. Uma ferramenta intuitiva e capaz de agregar toda a informação turística sobre os produtos exclusivos do destino Porto e Norte de Portugal, promovendo os seus associados e principais agentes económicos da região e permitindo aos seus visitantes vivenciar experiências únicas”, refere a ATP.

Mercedes filma no Porto anúncio ao novo Classe A



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Filmagem do anúncio do novo Classe A da Mercedes-Benz
O P24 assistiu à filmagem de uma cena junto ao Dolce Vita. Fotos: AIP
Mercedes-Benz UK está a filmar no Porto, desde segunda-feira, o anúncio ao novo Classe A que será exibido no Reino Unido, no Outono.
Uma equipa de cerca de 50 pessoas filmou “uma aventura” automóvel nas ruas apertadas do centro histórico, no Largo de Miragaia, junto ao Edifício da Alfândega, dentro e fora do Mercado do Bolhão e junto ao centro comercial Dolce Vita. As cenas – esta sexta-feira ainda há filmagens – estão a ser captadas em terra e no ar, com o auxílio de um helicóptero.
“Vai ser uma grande campanha integrada, para a televisão e para o YouTube. Filmámos também 4 dias em Lisboa e a história tem lugar numa localização que nunca revelamos. É suposto ser uma cidade muito bonita com ruelas intrigantes”, explicou ao P24 Rob Tauscher, da AMV BBDO.
A maior agência de publicidade do Reino Unido escolheu o Porto e Lisboa depois de ter considerado outras localizações. Banguecoque foi uma delas.
Segredo é alma do negócio
O P24 assistiu, esta quinta-feira, às filmagens junto ao Dolce Vita, num terreno de terra batida contíguo à Rotunda do Giestal, com a condição de manter sigilo sobre a história do filme. A Mercedes faz questão de manter em segredo o enredo do anúncio e Rob Tauscher adianta apenas que se trata de “uma aventura num Classe A”, mas quem passou pelo Mercado do Bolhão terça-feira ao início da tarde pôde ver que no filme publicitário entra, por exemplo, uma carrinha de intervenção da PSP.
“Estamos a tentar lançar um carro de uma forma que não é convencional. Queremos fazê-lo de forma surpreendente”, explica Rob Tauscher.

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